Thursday, November 20, 2008


I have to say that of the seven deadly sins, sloth sounds like about the least lethal.

Lust? Well, there's oodles of danger there. Pride? Depending on how proud you are and about what, that's setting yourself up for a fall. Envy? Well, everyone gets it now and again, but some people can really let it eat away at their guts. Gluttony is deadly, but it can certainly be argued that death could come by more miserable methods. Greed, well, Mom always said there is such a thing as too much of a good thing, and besides, nobody wants to hang out with someone who won't share. Wrath? Well, that sounds a lot like fighting to begin with, so that just sounds dangerous.

But sloth? That's a stupid, sleepy mammal that hangs from trees. No, a sloth doesn't do much, but he hardly seems the likely candidate to represent something called a deadly sin. A prolonged nap, maybe, but a deadly sin? Nah.

Yet the wise people who made the list of such things thought sloth important and deadly enough to include it. Go figure. Probably those hard-working Protestant types who found work its own reward and who never had any fun at all.

To be fair, sloth is not a great thing. Laziness is not good for society in large doses, and there are few things more frustrating than someone who does not care to do anything worthwhile. I guess for me that is where the line is when a person crosses from resting and enjoying it, or even avoiding work because it happens to suck, and actual sloth: when the person refuses to care.

To me, the sinful kind of sloth is when people don't give a shit about the election, sit back and do nothing to learn anything and then don't vote. Letting the rest of the country do the heavy lifting of democracy while sitting back collecting the disability check every month. That's sloth.

Sloth is having an opportunity to gain something valuable in the way of training or education, but turning it down because it's boring or it might be hard work. Fine, then, die dumb. It's you're right. That's sloth to me.

Sloth to me is to have recommendations and referrals made on a person's behalf and then have that person not even apply for a job. That stuff makes me crazy.

It is the not caring, I think, that gets me. That is the difference between simple laziness and actual sloth: the not caring. Like the difference between ignorance and stupidity: Ignorance is not knowing a thing, stupidity is refusal to learn.

I suppose this makes me judgmental, and I guess I can get over that. I get very frustrated when others throw away opportunities that so many never have a shot at. I get frustrated to see people discard information without a thought because it might use up time that could be better spent watching NASCAR or deer hunting. Now don't get me wrong, I understand that NASCAR is America's most popular spectator sport. But honestly I have yet to see the allure of driving for hours around what to me looks like nothing more than a very large rotary without a speed limit. And deer hunting can be a real art. There is a lot of science and learning to be done to get good at it. The stuff I allude to here is the beer-drinking, card-playing variety of deer hunting. The kind that involves a camp and ever unpacking your rifle.

Tired and grumpy tonight. The cold and my sore back canceled work this morning, so tomorrow we have to get the windows in no matter how cold it is. Gonna snow here Saturday, I'm hearing. Gaaah. I am so not ready for that.


MRMacrum said...

The problem I have with the idea of the "Seven Deadly Sins" thing is they are ideals set up by mortals for mortals as if they were passed down from God. They were rules to direct the activities of Man in a political way in a world that at the time was pretty devoid of the rule of law (around 400 AD). In much if not most of the White Man World at that time, the Church was all the law there was. A building block so to speak for the laws that came out of the secular part of the world later. And that is fine.

I just do not think God even recognizes Sin. God could not care less in my opinion. If God does care and God is so all powerful, God is indeed suffering from the same sins we are supposed to avoid. I find Religion so damn hypocritical. Starting at the top all the way to the bottom.

The idea that we should avoid these "sins" is just common sense. We do not need God to tell us this. I am not sying you are playing God's advocate here. You are not. But ever since you started this series on the seven deadly sins, I have been busting to rant about God and Man and how I think it all so much bullshit. Sorry about that.

Dawn on MDI said...

I suppose I should have said so at the outset, but I neither endorse nor oppose either the Seven Deadly Sins or the Seven Virtues, merely that they seemed like really cool jumping-off places to begin commentary. As a Unitarian-Universalist, even a lapsed one, my understanding of the concept of sin is somewhat jaded. There are some things that are certainly right or wrong, but much of the rest are really open for discussion, and I would argue that many of the rules set up way back when were designed to insure the survival of the race (of Christian peoples, or of Jewish peoples) and really are not warranted any more. Now we ought to avoid much of those same bad behaviors not because we fear spending eternity roasting on a spit in the fires of hell, but because it is plain good manners and common decency. Sloth would be bad because it is rude to ask someone else to do all the work and not pitch in to help. But I do not believe that a life of sloth will lead to an afterlife of damnation. I believe we get our rewards or punishments for our behavior here on this earth, not anywhere else.

Queenie said...

As a society, we have contributed amazingly well to the growth of sloth:
remote controls
microwave dinners
instant pudding
fast food
automatic transmissions
the computer
clap-on clap-off lamps
and especially those toilets that flush themselves so we don't have to strain a muscle pushing the lever down...

Anonymous said...

You're from Massachusetts, too. You KNOW that a rotary without speed limits would be a real bitch!


Anonymous said...

I have a reputation for LOOKING so serene and composed. In charge of my emotions. What rides my mind is cynical and anger. Sometimes it gets out and when it does, it is not a good thing to see, and even worse to remember. I carry so much anger inside that something no one else would notice, throws me into a rage so external that it makes me look insane. Inside the house, I clean, cook and have "hobbies". Outside the house, I go to the gun range or hammer and nail until the wood waves a red flag and becomes a table.